Author: Singapore's Budget Babe

What should the sandwiched generation do?

So your parents didn’t plan their finances or save for their retirement. They were so caught up in giving you the best of what they could (bless their hearts) that they forgot to think about themselves, and now you find yourself caught in the middle as you worry if you have enough money to take care of your parents while also providing for your children. What should you do? In the aftermath of the viral “Worst Parents in the World” ad, I’ve been receiving a number of readers’ questions on what I think would be good action steps for...

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An Open Letter to the Insurance Agent(s)

(A letter to all the insurance agents I’ve ever encountered and what I wish I could tell them.) Dear insurance agent(s), Please stop hounding us at MRT stations and bus interchanges. We really are not interested, especially when we’re rushing to get to our next destination or to our next appointment. It really isn’t nice to stop us in our tracks when we’re rushing, and no, following us around doesn’t make you look any better. Please stop trying to entice us with “freebies” or hiring pretty “xiao mei meis” to ask us to do a “survey”. We’re not stupid, we...

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My Review of Cordlife vs. Stemcord vs. Cryoviva

Hello! This is a much requested post from many of you, who contacted me in private requesting for my comparison table, so I’ve decided to share my findings publicly here. All data are consolidated from my individual meetings with the sales representatives across all three companies (so if there’s any data that is wrong / outdated, please let me know so I can change it, but I will not be held liable for any misinformation in this table as I’m merely replicating what their sales reps told me!). I’ve also previously written on whether I feel cord blood banking...

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What’s the BEST insurance plan? (And how you can DIY)

I think it goes without saying that the current framework and service standards in Singapore’s insurance industry is SORELY lacking when it comes to addressing consumer needs. That’s why many of us struggle and still don’t have adequate, nor the best plans, for our needs. In fact, when MAS conducted their mystery shopping on the insurance industry in 2011 (you can read their results announcement here, and the breakdown of the methodology here), they came to a similar conclusion too. The results were frankly quite shocking, especially when you consider that: Most representatives obtained information on the shoppers’ personal...

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My Favourite Cashback Credit Cards

It is no secret that I prefer cashback over miles credit cards – after all, I’ve also written extensively on the topic in numerous articles before, including why I’m on team cashback, the best cashback cards to get for 2018, authored the Ultimate Guidebook to the Best Cashback Tools in Singapore, went on to develop (with a reader) the SGBB Cashback App to help folks like myself manage the different cashback credit cards in our wallets. Some people prefer miles because they see it as a way to get their holidays and flights (or even First-Class Suites, wow!) for free without spending, and there’s...

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9 Financial Must-Dos When You’re Having A Baby

How much should a couple have before having a baby? While expenses differ between families (and your preferences), it is always a good idea to start saving up early while you’re trying for a baby, or the moment you find out you’re expecting, so that money will be the least of your worries after your baby is born because you’ll have so much more to worry about when that time comes!My husband and I wanted to make sure we were adequately prepared, so we embarked on a journey and planned out what we wanted to get ready for before...

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Reader’s Story: I’m the Sandwiched Generation. This is what I did to turn things around.

What should you do if you’re sandwiched between your parents, your children, and your own retirement? I’ve been getting this question a lot lately, thanks to the viral video that NTUC Income launched two weeks ago, and will follow up soon with what I think are some steps readers can take. However, before that, I recently came across a sharing from a reader who managed to turn things around by being proactive and getting her finances in order. She has agreed to share her story and I hope this encourages all of you to show that not all is lost:...

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Should I store or donate my baby’s cord blood?

This is a follow-up post to my previous article here on whether cord blood banking is necessary, and one that has been highly requested by many of you who can’t decide whether to donate or store your baby’s cord blood privately. (Please don’t ever discard it – it is a huge waste of resources that could have otherwise been used to save someone else’s life or even just to do further clinical research on.) This is a pretty debatable issue and there’s a wide range of opinions on this topic. While my gynae encouraged it, I’ve also heard from...

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The "Worst" Parents In The World

Sometimes when you give your children your all (leaving barely anything for yourself), this act of love may end up becoming their biggest burden later on in life. I absolutely loved this heartwarming ad by NTUC Income which recently went viral over the weekend. Not only could I relate to it, I also agreed fervently with the key message of the video that perhaps the best gift parents can give to their children is a good retirement plan for themselves (be it through savings, insurance, annuities, or any other means). In the video, the groom laments about how his...

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Review of Cryptocurrency – The Board Game (Kickstarter)

If you’ve ever wondered about the cryptocurrency world, or how to teach the concept to a newbie, there’s now a new game in the market to help you. Developed by none other than the guys behind Capital Gains Studio (yes, the same folks behind Wongamania and Debtzilla), I was recently invited to play the game and LOVED it. This is one game I’ll use to teach my friends about cryptocurrencies and how they work in the real world. There’s just so much information out there that it can be really confusing, and many get so intimidated that they don’t...

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Would you give up on your own retirement plan to fund your child’s education? I wouldn’t!

Would you give up on your own retirement plan to fund your child’s education? Apparently, 90% of Singaporean parents would. I belong to the 10% who will NOT, but before you slam me for being selfish or a bad parent, hear me out first. If I fail to plan for my own retirement – which includes living expenses and healthcare costs – this burden will eventually fall onto my child. And that’s not being fair to him. Being in a situation today where my husband and I are limited by the choices we can make precisely because our parents...

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The Minimalistic Baby Essentials Checklist (for a first-time mother)

It can be really mind-boggling as a first-time parent to figure out what’s necessary and what baby items are good-to-have. After all, we’re constantly being flooded by ads online and by Instagram influencers, all of whom seem to say that pretty much everything is a must-have! Instead, I turned to the helpful community of Dayre mummies for advice, and consolidated our own version of a truly Minimalistic Baby Essentials Checklist that we’ll be using: Image credits In this list, I also share where I chose to get many of my baby items from, and there are plenty of ways...

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Tips to Reduce Cost of Living (PM Lee’s & SG Budget Babe’s version)

PM Lee shared some tips during his NDP Rally Speech this year (2018). While I applaud the government for some of their initiatives – Medishield Life and CareShield – which I find are fantastic improvements, many of the tips that our dear PM shared didn’t seem to be particularly useful for middle-income households like mine. Here’s a summary of PM Lee’s tips: To save money on utilities: Be mindful of water and electricity usage For lower income families, U-Save rebates are provided to help offset some of the costs To save on mobile phone expenses: Watch your data usage...

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How to Up Your Credit Card Game

If you’re not hacking the credit card game in Singapore to get free cash (back) or miles for money that you’re already spending, it is about time you got on the bandwagon. Image Credits I’m a huge advocate of credit cards because the way I see it, it is akin to someone coming up to you and giving you freebies (whether in the form of free cash or flight credits) on money that you’re already spending anyway. Of course, just remember to pay off your bills on time, because late fees on overdue credit card payments and compound interest...

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Is Cord Blood Banking Necessary?

Becoming first-time parents sure comes with lots of stuff (and costs) to think about. One of the key concerns we had was whether we ought to store our baby’s cord blood – our gynae and relatives were for it, but the sentiments online were mixed. We’ve always heard that storing a baby’s cord blood was expensive, but when we enquired, the costs were honestly much lower than what we expected. At just $5,000+ to store our baby’s cord blood for 21 years, that works out to be less than $20 a month – even lesser than what we pay for (financial)...

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